These sober words were recorded by Dorothy’s granddaughter in a 2017 issue of Americamagazine, recounting how difficult it was for Dorothy to see her dear daughter walk away from the Catholic faith — the daughter whose birth had lured Dorothy into its fold.
Whether the crisis of faith is that of a loved one or our own, it is seldom experienced in a vacuum. And whether the source of that disillusionment is from a temporary setback or the culmination of a season of unspoken angst, Dorothy reminds us that the solution is the same: solidarity, compassion, and intercession.
“All the adorable clothes for infants, jokes about pickles and ice cream, and debates about appropriate names for children occupy the expectant woman’s mind like sitting-room company sharing a pleasant tea—until labor begins. In a flash, your visitors leave, their cooling teacups half-empty. Alone, or with a trusted companion, you may wait out the beginning contractions by reading a book or watching a movie, but you know as you have never known in your life what the main event is. Birth is the rock of motherhood. It does not easily allow diversions; it is more glorious and messy, more trying and transformative than a person might suspect. Basically, it is a lot like prayer.”
For adoptive and foster parents, this “glorious and messy, trying and transformative” encounter with new life (well, new to your family) takes place when the child arrives in your family. It can be painful. It’s almost always messy. It can leave you wondering if you’ll ever want to embark on a similar adventure (or recommend it to someone else) ever again. Not only is it hard work — but it actually involves actual prayer.
Choosing to love the creature who is, at that moment, most unloveable is perhaps the best example of loving as God loves, of becoming truly Christ-like.